FIND in
<--prev V24 next-->

From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) re: Urth is Norse
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 99 18:25:00 GMT

Right, sure, of course.  I originally listed it as "Old Norse," but
then that made it seem as if: Urth had been "terraformed" (itself a
questionable notion) by the same civilization that terraformed Mars
and Venus (that is: the planets get new names when they become new
places); there had been no discontinuity between civilizations on
Terra in the transition from Earth to Urth.

So I changed the "Old Norse" listing to "English."

Because, alas, Norse "Urth" does not mean Earth.  Yet Earth does mean
Earth.  And Thea's version of the planets and their names strongly
suggests that before the "Norsophone" civilization (which terraformed
and renamed planets in their vigor) there was an "Anglophone"
civilization.  We can see the distinction between "Anglophone" and
"Norsophone," but Thea's story blends them, so that homonyms in
English are expresed in Norse.  Likewise, Earth is "homonymized" into

Furthermore, the Norse word is spelled UR+, with the plus sign being
that wonderful letter which we no longer have in the Anglophonic
world--I won't bore you with the name of it.  It is necessary,
however falacious an impression it creates, to spell words with "+"
as having either "th" (which rudely approximates the phonetic value)
or "d" (which rudely captures the essence of the letter's shape,
since it looks like "a crossed d").

Sadly, English no longer graphically distinguishes between hard "th"
and soft "th."  If we pronounce Urth as "Earth," we are using the
hard "th" sound.  If we can somehow pronounce Urth as "Ur+" (with the
"th" of "then"; the effect is almost a lisp with a headcold?) then we
are speaking Norse. If we say it "Urd" (as in "Oy urd youf been a
n'aty boy, Clemit") we are being mildly eccentric. <g>

(That's my understanding of it, at least.  Scandinavians can go to
town, of course.  But my central point being the Anglo/Norse
transition from Earth to Mars.)

"Urth(e)" is also an old, obscure, variant spelling of an English
word, "Earth."  Says the OED.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

<--prev V24 next-->